04/30/2006 11:00PM

Asmussen has his duo well-prepared


Monday, May 1 Cloudy, track muddy; 56¦

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Monday morning was a long one for anybody curious to see Kentucky Derby workouts. The session began well before the break of dawn with a work by Storm Treasure and ended nearly four hours later, when likely favorite Brother Derek finally completed his half-mile drill following the late arrival of jockey Alex Solis, who flew here overnight from California.

Storm Treasure and Brother Derek were two of the three Derby workers Monday, along with Private Vow. The trio breezed over a racetrack soaked by rains from the previous day, and it was officially listed as muddy by track clockers.

Work of the day

The honor will be split between the Steve Asmussen-trained stablemates Storm Treasure (five furlongs in 1:00.20) and Private Vow (five furlongs in 59.82 seconds), both of whom worked very early over a racetrack that had a lot more moisture to it than the one Brother Derek encountered later that morning.

The stablemates turned in nearly identical works, with Private Vow clocking approximately .20 faster at every pole. Both horses were ridden by exercise rider Carmen Rojas, who was equipped with a blinking red light on his helmet for easier viewing in the dark.

Storm Treasure was the first of the two to work, coming out immediately after the racetrack opened for training at 6 a.m. After breaking off at the five-furlong pole, he went along at an even pace, covering the opening eighth in 12.12, the quarter in 24.57, and the half in 47.95, before galloping out six furlongs in 1:14.39 while under little urging. Storm Treasure did fan five or six paths off the rail turning for home, seemingly in an attempt to find the best and safest footing over the wet track.

Storm Treasure figures to be one of the outsiders in the field, but has trained nicely over the past several days and has the running style to take advantage of what figures to be an honest pace Saturday.

Rojas returned less than 30 minutes later with Private Vow, who was a bit headstrong to begin, resulting in a slightly faster opening eighth-mile split (11.98) than Storm Treasure's. Private Vow also angled off the rail entering the stretch, although perhaps not quite as far as Storm Treasure, before completing his final quarter-mile in a solid 23.73 and galloping out six furlongs in 1:14.20.

Private Vow has not seemed quite as eager to train as Storm Treasure in recent days, but he was well focused and looked good once finally settling into stride a furlong into Monday's work.

Brother Derek (49.36) was the horse everybody was waiting for, especially since he did not look as sharp as usual in his final California work. The wait lasted until just after 9:30 a.m., and the anticipation proved to be greater than the result. Solis, obviously under instructions from trainer Dan Hendricks, did not let Brother Derek do too much over a racetrack that had dried out gradually throughout the morning but was still wet enough to be called muddy by late morning.

Breaking off at the half-mile pole, Brother Derek posted relatively slow opening eighth-mile and quarter-mile fractions of 12.96 and 25.06 while well in hand. He picked up the pace without urging coming off the turn and was striding out nicely coming across the wire, completing his final quarter in an effortless 24.30 before galloping out five-eighths in 1:03.21.

This work did little to wipe out the memory of his work last Monday at Santa Anita, but it also didn't give anybody a reason to toss the Derby favorite. It was, simply put, a cautious final maintenance move performed under less-than-optimum conditions by a very talented horse.

In between the two early workouts and one late workout Monday, there was plenty of less strenuous but still noteworthy action to report.

Lawyer Ron was back to his old tricks 48 hours removed from Saturday's fast five-furlong work, giving exercise rider Betsy Couch all she could do to keep him from running off during another high-energy, 1 1/4-mile gallop. Couch had her feet in the dashboard and her hands pressed firmly against Lawyer Ron's neck, especially around the clubhouse turn, before finally getting the best of the situation and pulling Lawyer Ron up down the backstretch.

Deputy Glitters has flown under the radar since his arrival from New York late last week but had another good morning, dropping down near the rail and reeling off several 14-and-change furlongs over the wet track before finally coming to a halt well down the backstretch.

Sunriver looked sharp again before the renovation break, as did Jazil immediately afterward.

Kentucky Oaks favorite Balance galloped for the first time since her arrival from California and looked a bit uncomfortable over the wet strip, remaining on her left lead for nearly her entire tour around the track.


A.P. Warrior: Jogged one mile over the Hollywood Park training track.

Barbaro: Jogged 2 miles, visited paddock at Churchill Downs.

Bluegrass Cat: Walked the shedrow.

Bob and John: Walked.

Brother Derek: Worked 4 furlongs in :49.36 at Churchill Downs.

Cause to Believe: Jogged 1 1/8 miles at Churchill Downs

Deputy Glitters: Galloped 1 1/4 miles at Churchill Downs.

Flashy Bull: Jogged two miles at Churchill Downs.

Jazil: Galloped 1 3/8 miles at Churchill Downs.

Keyed Entry: Walked the shedrow.

Lawyer Ron: Jogged in chute, galloped 1 1/2 miles at Churchill Downs.

Point Determined: Walked.

Private Vow: Worked 5 furlongs in :59.82 at Churchill Downs

Seaside Retreat: Galloped 1 1/2 miles at Churchill Downs.

Sharp Humor: Walked the shedrow.

Showing Up: Worked a half mile in 49.63 at Belmont Park.

Sinister Minister: Galloped 1 1/2 miles at Churchill Downs.

Steppenwolfer: Jogged seven furlongs, then galloped 1 1/8 miles at Churchill Downs.

Storm Treasure: Worked 5 furlongs in 1:00.20 at Churchill Downs.

Sunriver: Galloped 1 3/8 miles at Churchill Downs.

Sweetnorthernsaint: Jogged one mile at Churchill Downs

- Mike Welsch